Honestly: 2020 was certainly not the best year for motorsport in the 'non-virtual' world: cancelled races, spectator restrictions – and then the withdrawal of our works teams from the North American IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship. Tough times for GT fans. But 2021 is a glimmer of hope on the horizon. Actually, more than that: our exit has created highly interesting Porsche constellations for fans in the GTD class for the IMSA races at Daytona, Laguna Seca, Sebring and the other legendary tracks on North American soil.
IMSA Season 2021: teammates become rivals.
The king is dead. Long live the king.
But first an all-clear for all motorsport fans: despite the omission of the two works RSRs, we will not miss what is probably the most powerful sound in the GT class. That's because WeatherTech Racing will be on the GTLM class starting grid in a 911 RSR (2019). With Kévin Estre and Richard Lietz at the wheel, among others. Two true GT specialists who regularly make their competitors sweat under their helmets in the WEC. Speaking of the WEC: if you're wondering who is behind WeatherTech Racing, we can reveal that it's the endurance specialists and long-time Le Mans participants from Proton Competition – yes, the ones with Patrick Dempsey. This combination of specialists is likely to create plenty of tension among the competition.
Familiar faces. New duels.
In addition to the 911 RSR in the GTLM class, there are also some familiar faces in the GTD class. And by that we don't just mean the four 911 GT3 R that Hardpoint EBM, TGM, Wright Motorsports and Pfaff Motorsports teams will be entering. But also drivers like Patrick Long, who are almost part of the Porsche furniture. The Hardpoint EBM and Pfaff Motorsports constellations stand out from the crowd.
Hardpoint EBM is a true family affair: together with Rob Ferriol, brothers Will and Earl Bamber (yes, that's right, the Porsche works driver and Le Mans winner) have set up a customer racing team and seized the opportunity to compete in IMSA. While Will takes care of team management, Earl and Rob can be found along with their teammates behind the wheel of the 911 GT3 R that bears the number 88. And so, they meet an old acquaintance: Laurens Vanthoor will drive the 911 GT3 R #9 for Pfaff Motorsports. This means that Bamber and Vanthoor, who were inseparable as works team drivers, are now suddenly going head-to-head on the track. So, we can look forward to an exciting season.